Ask the Patch Pro: MoDOT Answers Your Questions

MoDOT expert Linda Wilson Horn will answer your questions in the comments section on Friday, Feb. 22.

It's time for another edition of Ask the Patch Pro, where each week we tackle a different topic and open up the comments section for questions. Our team of experts stop in to help you out and answer your questions.

This week, Patch teamed up with the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) to answer your road, construction and traffic questions. 

MoDOT Community Relations Coordinator Linda Wilson Horn has agreed to help us out. She will answer readers' questions in the comment section of the Patch sites on Friday, Feb. 22.  

Have a question? Ask below!

JW February 22, 2013 at 04:58 PM
The merge from Forest Park Parkway onto 170 North is very short and I've seen a lot of near accidents there. Since the Ladue Rd exit is only a few hundred feet away, would it be possible to make a merge lane that would extend from the Forest Park Parkway exit to the Ladue exit? There is existing roadway here that is currently being used as a shoulder but the lines could be redrawn to implement this. I think this would make it a lot safer.
Linda Wilson Horn February 22, 2013 at 04:58 PM
If the intersection has a red light camera on it, it depends on how it is set up. My basic understanding is the camera is focused at the white solid intersection line. If you cross that line when the light turns red, you will see the flash of the camera taking your picture for a ticket. The other general rule is that you shouldn't cross the white solid line unless you can clear the intersection. Cars sitting in the middle are referred to by the police as "blocking the box", or the center of the intersection. I know a lot of people do this when turning left. I also understand it is hard when the person in front of you stops or goes really slow. You have to make a judgement call as a driver whether to enter the intersection or not. In regards to the signal timing, I have sent a note for a call report for our signal crews to check the timing. Hopefully that can help your problem.
Kalen Ponche February 22, 2013 at 05:11 PM
Marcia, Kevin Corwin with St. Charles City says this is a MoDOT signal.
Dan Moore February 22, 2013 at 05:17 PM
Linda, Does the State control Norht and South St Peters Parkway? If so, the stop light timing couldn't be much worse. Going westbound after you get off at the Jungermann/Woodstone exit, the lights stop you at every intersection, Woodstone, Jungermann, Central School, Kisker, etc. Kisher is especially bad. I know it's a new road but it has been completed for several months now. Are the lights along here hooked together?
Linda Wilson Horn February 22, 2013 at 05:20 PM
The signal timing here is run by MoDOT because it is part of the overall signal timing for the I-70 interchange. Our traffic engineer just changed the signal timing for off peak hours so it should cycle 30 seconds for each direction. That should help it move around the different movements faster. Not much more we can do here with the tight spacing of all these signals going through the interchange. I do believe the City of St. Charles has an upcoming project to add some turn lanes at this intersection, so that should help this situation.
Linda Wilson Horn February 22, 2013 at 05:44 PM
Here's the answer I got from David Wrone at St. Louis County Highways: Per our Division of Highway Planning: We expect to let our Sappington Road infrastructure project (encompassing that portion of Sappington from Gravois to Big Bend) some time this spring. This is a relatively large project - $1.3 million, with federal funds accounting for 80 percent of that figure. Long Elementary is considering revisions to their internal circulation, and, because those potential revisions would impact Sappington Road, we’re working with the school. School district officials also are working directly with City of Crestwood, since the city also has streets that would be affected by the changes. As part of our infrastructure project, St. Louis County plans to remove the existing signalized pedestrian crossing and install a new signalized intersection at the school entrance.
Linda Wilson Horn February 22, 2013 at 05:48 PM
I am checking on this. I know we have been asked this question before, and I'm sorry I don't have the answer handy. I will post an update as soon as I hear back from my engineer.
Linda Wilson Horn February 22, 2013 at 06:02 PM
The outer roads to Route 364 (called North and South St Peters Parkway) are timed by MoDOT. I'm checking with our traffic engineer on the timing. What time of day does this happen to you? Kisker is definitely one of the hardest to time because there is so much demand coming from Kisker. We get complaints that the Kisker traffic has to wait too long and we get complaints that the outer road has to wait too long. It's a tough spot. I will get you an update as I get one.
Peggy Dodel-Britt February 22, 2013 at 06:29 PM
I live off of Forder Road, and I've noticed that there are street lights from Ringer to Telegraph, but none from Ringer to Lemay Ferry, which makes it very dark. Alot of people walk for exercise on the sidewalks from Ringer to Lemay Ferry. There are telephone poles on the one side of Forder, so lights could be attached on them. Is there any chance that lights could be added from Lemay Ferry to Ringer in the near future?
Linda Wilson Horn February 22, 2013 at 07:06 PM
Our engineering department will review the situation and see if it's possible to do this given the pavement we have there. Since I'm going to be doing this Patch Pro chat once a month, I will post an update hopefully in March.
D.C. February 22, 2013 at 07:20 PM
Why is the intersection at northbound Route 94 to head west on Route 370 not a "left turn yield on green" intersection? I use these roads all the time and have seen people run the red light to go west on 370 several times when nobody is approaching from the other direction.
Linda Wilson Horn February 22, 2013 at 07:20 PM
I found out from our traffic engineer that the cross streets along the outer roads currently aren't programmed to be in coordination all along Route 364. We are working on a contract for signal optimization to get this work done later this year.
Brian Feldt (Editor) February 22, 2013 at 07:35 PM
I'm still a bit confused about where exactly the Page Extension will be going through O'Fallon and Dardenne Prairie. My parents live near Bates Road and the Highway N intersection. How close will they be to 364? And where would their closes exit to that highway be? Thanks!
Linda Wilson Horn February 22, 2013 at 07:41 PM
I'm checking with St. Louis County on your question. MoDOT does not maintain Forder Road.
Jackie Marler February 22, 2013 at 07:42 PM
Linda, Is there any possibility of at least improving the intersection of Hwy N and Perry Cate soon? That is the main culprit, and all other entrances/exits in that strip of road would benefit from that one intersection controlled by a stop light. I realize the funding isn't there to improve all of Hwy N, but how difficult is it normally to get a traffic signal added? A dedicated right turn lane from westbound Hwy N onto Perry Cate, with a traffic signal, would greatly reduce the risk for students and teachers. If MoDOT did a traffic study of that strip of Hwy N that goes from Immanuel Lutheran west to the Catholic church, they would see a nightmare of people pulling out in front of oncoming traffic, people turning west out of the elementary school - just to pull a U-turn in the Catholic church entrance because there's very little opportunity to turn east out of the schools, buses that have to stop in the middle of the road to let other buses and traffic proceed for safety reasons, and on and on. It's a mess!
Linda Wilson Horn February 22, 2013 at 07:46 PM
At the spot you mentioned, Bates and Route N, you will notice a grassy area between the South Outer Road and Route N. This is where the new road will be located between the two existing roads. Right now Route N turns and connects to the South Outer Road right at Bates. When construction is complete, this will not be there anymore. Route N will be built to go straight to Bryan Road and be a north outer road. There will be a full interchange at Bryan Road with access to the new route 364. There are some basic maps of this on the project website, www.modot.org/route364.
Brian Feldt (Editor) February 22, 2013 at 07:55 PM
Thanks Linda! And thanks for answering all these questions. You're doing a great job.
Linda Wilson Horn February 22, 2013 at 07:56 PM
I heard back from St Louis County and was told the street lights are not theirs either. Sometimes it can be how the subdivisions were built and some developers put in street lights and some didn't. I'm not sure who you should check with. The County said they don't install street lights and have very few that they maintain. MoDOT is similar on the streets we maintain.
Linda Wilson Horn February 22, 2013 at 08:19 PM
I checked with our traffic engineer on this location. It is a spot that we are reviewing for new equipment to allow yielding lefts.
DJ February 22, 2013 at 08:56 PM
Has MoDOT ever thought about making the lane stripes so that you can see them in the rain and at night? Other states use some sort of paint to make them visible. It's extremely hard to see the stripes (read virtually non-existent) when it rains.
Linda Wilson Horn February 22, 2013 at 09:06 PM
There are countless tiny glass beads within the paint that we use to stripe the highways. The beads are there to create more reflectivity from headlights. One of the most effective things for rainy conditions is reflective pavement markers. You will see these predominantly used in southern states. We are researching and looking for ones that are resistant to our snow plows. It is the snow plow that does the most harm to the reflectivity of the striping. That is why every spring we restripe all of of highways in April and May to give them a fresh coat with glass beads once the snow season is over.
Jackie Marler February 22, 2013 at 09:34 PM
DJ - I couldn't agree more. We had reflectors on the roads up in Chicago, and the paint was definitely more reflective. I make this comment to my husband almost every day on either Hwy N or I-70 crossing the bridge in the right-most lane heading east. On the latter, those stripes were just done in November, and they're already so faded that you have to guess where you're supposed to be.
DJ February 22, 2013 at 09:38 PM
Thanks. I just noticed that I'm on the O'Fallon Patch, but I'm actually in University City. Wherever I drive in the vicinity of UCity, Clayton, St. Louis City, Maplewood, Richmond Heights, etc., the stripes disappear in the rain. Maybe I need to contact local governments about this problem?
Linda Wilson Horn February 22, 2013 at 09:44 PM
I'm answering MoDOT questions for the entire St Louis area. Who you need to talk to about striping is dependent on which road you are having the problem with. MoDOT roads do have striping that loses visibility especially by this time each year. So it could be a MoDOT road. If you tell me which road, I can tell you which agency is responsible.
Linda Wilson Horn February 22, 2013 at 09:54 PM
I'm signing off for the day. thanks for the variety of questions. I'm going to be on Patch pro again each month so I look foward to your questions next month.
Mendi Baker February 22, 2013 at 09:54 PM
On the Parkway: thanks for the review. I was hit at the lane shift (right/northbound) and started paying attention to traffic. Too many northbound cars don't make the shift. It is surprising that there aren't more accidents! I saw the note about the "shoulders" on Highway N a couple of years ago. It was far more dangerous after the crumbled asphalt was added! Thankfully, it washed away very quickly.
Jackie Marler February 22, 2013 at 09:56 PM
Linda- thanks for doing this! It was very educational and I hope more of our state's agencies will consider doing the same!
Jordan Lanham February 22, 2013 at 09:57 PM
Thanks so much for answering all of the reader questions Linda! Have a great weekend!
Ryan Martin (Editor) February 23, 2013 at 01:24 AM
Thank you for your time, Linda, especially following a busy winter storm!
Karen Clark February 23, 2013 at 08:22 AM
1.) With the increased traffic on the Daniel Boone Bridge due to lane closures on the Blanchette, why did they decide to do blasting now? It doesn't make sense to have closures on one of the alternate routes. Drivers in the Lake St. Louis/Wentzville area do not have easy access to the Page extension. 2.) How much extra time should we plan in our commutes due to blasting?


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